e-mailing professors and “students of today”

Workout notes
Weights plus 5 mile treadmill run (protecting the foot) Foot: oh so slightly sore after.
pull ups: 5 sets of 10 (ok) with rotator cuff and McKenzie
bench: 10 x 135, 3 x 180 (weak), 9 x 160 (rotator cuff)
incline: 10 x 135
military/pull down/row super set:
military: 3 sets of 10 x 40 dumbbell (standing)
pull down: 3 sets of 7 traditional, 7 low (160/100)
row: 3 sets of 10 x 65 dumbbell (single arm)
Hip hikes, achilles.

I was a sweaty mess (45 minutes) and then I ran.
started with 5.6-5.7…increased every 2 minutes until I got to 7…started to die. 20:15 at 2, then I did some 6/6.7 every .25 miles.
Total: 47:55 for 5; this was more work than I had anticipated.

This is a good guide on how to NOT e-mail your professor (fictional student; e-mail is a collage of actual e-mails)

The professor says something interesting:

And before you go thinking that Anderson is publicly shaming the student: ‘cartmanrulez99′ a fictional creation, based on “two or three poor emails put together,” explains Anderson on YouTube. “I would never post an email of a student to the Internet nor would I suggest anyone else ever doing that.”

Yep. But this is interesting too (emphasis mine):

Moreover, he adds, he’s not youth-bashing. “In my opinion, each and every generation is smarter than the previous generation,” he writes. “I have seen that first-hand in my twenty years of teaching. If you think that there were no dumb people in the past, think again.”

The emphasis is ABSOLUTELY NOT TRUE FOR ME; that is, the current students don’t appear to be smarter to me. BUT….there are mitigating factors at play here:

1. I went to a very selective undergraduate institution. Then I served in the Nuclear Navy; my fellow officers were taken from the upper 20 percent of graduating classes in engineering and science programs. Then I got my Ph. D. at a division I research place.

Therefore, the average student I see at my “median ACT of 25, median calculus ACT of 29-30″ isn’t as talented as the people that I went to college and beyond with.

2. We teach service courses including mathematics for non-technical majors. See point 1.

BUT: it is true that today’s A student is pretty good, at least the A students in mathematics and science are.

And yes, we had presumptuous idiots in my day too…though we didn’t have e-mail until I was almost done with graduate school. :-)

3. Concerning the 20 plus years I’ve been here: we’ve had ebbs and flows in student quality. The current class appears to be an “up” class. This ebb and flow probably wouldn’t be seen by a professor who teaches at an elite university or at a larger state university.

September 18, 2014 Posted by | education, running, social/political, weight training | | Leave a comment

back in Peoria with achy foot

My foot hurt a little; back on Naproxen I go (and back to the ice). But it is far from severe.

I felt gummed up from all of that driving this weekend and didn’t want to work out this morning. But I felt that moving would make me feel better.

Weights: 5 sets of 10 pull ups (hip hikes, Achilles rest)
incline presses: 10 x 135, 3 x 150 (weak), 10 x 140 (strong) (rotator cuff)
military presses: 2 sets of 12 x 50 (seated, supported)
pull downs: 3 sets of 7 x 160 traditional, 7 x 100 low
rows (single armed with dumbbells): 3 sets of 10 x 65
military presses (standing) 2 sets of 8 x 40 lb.

running: treadmill: started at 5.6 mph, 5.7 (10 min), then every 2: 5.8-5.9-6.0-6.1-6.2-6.3-6.4 (all at 0.5)
then I upped the elevation to 1.0-1.5-2.0-2.5 and then 3 for the final mile. Total time: 38:52 for the 4 miles.

This wasn’t exactly a killer workout, but I got warm and sweaty…and I feel better than when I started.

September 15, 2014 Posted by | running, travel, weight training | , , | Leave a comment

Case study of why preliminary rants should be done in private….

Workout notes: weights plus running on the treadmill.
weights: 5 x 10 pull ups (first 2 sets: stiff), Achilles plus hip hikes
bench press: 10 x 135, 3 x 180 (weak), 9 x 160 (weak) (rotator cuff)
inline: 10 x 135 (ok) (rotator cuff)
military: dumbbell, seated, supported: 2 sets of 12 x 50
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 65 each arm (dumbbell)
military: 10 x 40 dumbbell, standing.
military: 7 x 85 barbell
pull downs: 3 sets of (7 x 160 traditional, 7 x 100 low)

running: 6 miles on treadmill in 59:45, .21 walk.
how: 5 minutes at 0.5 at 5.5, 1.0 at 5.6, 1.0 at 5.7, 1.0 at 5.8
then 1.5 at 10 mpm, 2 at 10 mpm this got me to 30 minutes
then at 2 I went 6.1-6.2-6.3-6.4
then drop to 1.5-1-0.5 going to 6.5, 6.6, 6.7

Reason: my heel (right) is sore again; the relief was fool’s gold. Evidently I’ve subtly changed my gait to go more on my toes when walking and running.
So, I’ll need to be very careful so that this doesn’t ruin my September 28 marathon. More taper, less training.

Title of the post
I had signed up for a payment plan for my daughter’s university (so I thought) but then got a “money due” bill. WTF?
I was all in a self righteous lather about “the incompetence of others”.

So I did some digging around.

It turns out: my account number: I had left off the leading zeros on my check. *I* had screwed up.

Fortunately, only my wife was subject to my rather embarrassing self-righteous anger (I didn’t vent AT her but she witnessed my generic “the whole world is incompetent except for ME” rant.)
Well, I guess there is one less exception, huh? ;-)

September 11, 2014 Posted by | running, social/political, weight training | , | Leave a comment

6:30 a mile mind, 8:30 a mile body

Workout notes weights plus treadmill run after.
Weights: pull ups 15-15-10-10 (hip hikes, Achilles)
Bench: 10 x 135, 3 x 180, 9 x 160 (weak)
military: seated, supported dumbbell: 2 sets of 12 x 50, standing, unsupported: 2 sets of 10 x 40
rows: 3 sets of dumbbell rows: 10 x 65, 1 set of 10 x 200 Hammer
pull down: 3 sets of 7 x 160 traditional, 7 x 100 low.

Run: treadmill to protect the foot: (.5 elevation) 20:47 2 mile, then 29:44, 38:33, 47:14, 55:50, 57:55 for 6.21 (10K).
That was enough to get me tired and sweaty.

Commentary: I run, swim and walk for time. I also follow others who do (Julie, Tammy, Ray, Damon, David, are some of them)

All of these folks have hit performances I’ll never reach. But that isn’t the main point; I just like to see what they are up to and to get some vicarious enjoyment via their race/activity reports.

I also follow what other local people are doing. Most of us have ups and downs; we peak, get on a roll…but that comes to an end and our performance goes down into a valley. Often, we get out of the valley…though as we get older, we don’t quite get all of the way out. Then the next slide down takes us a bit lower…we climb back out…but not quite to the same level as before.

I know that my mind gets stuck in the past and there is still a bit of Walter Mitty in me that thinks that I’ll climb all of the way out. But that won’t happen; it turns out that those who are my current age (55) who run the times that I used to run in my late 30’s were college level runners in their youth.

Evidently I am not alone in having a mind that is beyond my body. At this weekend’s half marathon, a friend was running part of the relay. In her mid to late 40’s, in peak condition, she was a 26-27 minute 5K runner. But she went through some health issues and life challenges and, while she still looks good compared to most women her age, she isn’t in her top running shape.

She started out ahead of me; I caught her on an uphill (I was walking, and walking is more efficient going up hills) and she blew past me going down. But then came the next long, long uphill and I went past her again. Then about midway up, I heard her breathing behind me…..heavy breathing. I thought “this isn’t going to last long” and then soon I heard her say “ok, Friend, you win.” Evidently her mind is ahead of where her body currently is. I sure know that feeling.

And I’ll have to remember that in my upcoming walking marathon. I’d love to walk a 12 minute pace again, but I last did that in 2009 back when I had trained for and finished a muddy 100 miler. I am NOT in that kind of shape, and I am 5 years older. That is reality. For me, 5:30 (12:30 mpm) would be an excellent time; I should probably shoot for 2:40 for a first half split, then 2:50 for the second half. If I go out in 2:25-2:30 for the first half, I’ll die before mile 20 and be unable to finish the race.

September 9, 2014 Posted by | blogs, marathons, running, weight training | | Leave a comment

Why did I wear a sleeveless?

Workout notes weights plus treadmill running (thunderstorms plus a sore foot)

Weights: pull ups (5 sets of 10); hip hikes/Achilles
bench: 10 x 135, 3 x 180, 9 x 160 (sore chest)
military (rotator cuff rest): 2 sets of 12 x 50 (dumbbells, seated, supported), 10 x 40 (standing)
one arm rows: 10 x 60, 10 x 70, 10 x 65
pull downs: 3 sets of (7 x 160 traditional, 7 x 100 low)

Then to the treadmill: 5 miles in 46:40. 10:50 mile 1, 20:15 mile 2, 29:10 mile 3, 37:55 mile 4, 46:40 mile 5.
I gradually upped the speed until 18 minutes, then 18-29 (6.7 mph), 29-38 (6.8), 38-42 6.9, 7.0 the rest of the way.

My heel: didn’t hurt at all.

Side note: I wore a sleeveless, and I do pull ups right in front of a mirror. It was NOT a pretty sight. It seems as if my muscles are getting “blurrier” by the year…more “impressionistic” if you will.
And the appearance belies reality: there was a time when I could bench press 250 pounds at my current weight (and 310 at 50 pounds heavier). Now, 3-4 reps with 180 is about right (perhaps a max of 200?) Time marches on.

BUT here is the good news: the smile/grimace is still there, and IT IS STILL FUN. :-) (it just takes a bit longer; roughly 25 percent longer).





September 4, 2014 Posted by | running, weight training | , | Leave a comment

More gym stuff, and teaching new stuff…

Workout notes: my routine was a bit off due to the Labor Day running race. So today, I lifted and walked.

The walk came after my lifting session; I did a hilly 10K course (Cornstalk 5 plus a 1.2 mile lower loop). The route was somewhat slippery.

Lifting: just under 1 hour; I did hip hikes and rotator cuff.
Pull ups: 15, 10, 10, then 5 sets of 5 with various grips. (60 reps total today)
bench: 10 x 135, 3 x 180, 3 x 180, 9 x 160
military: 2 sets of 12 x 50 seated, supported (finally got it!), 10 x 40 standing (dumbbells)
rows: 10 x 65 each arm.
incline: 9 x 135
pull downs: 3 sets of: 7 x 160 traditional 7 x 100 low.

The heel: somewhat sore, but not bad. I used some ice and took NSAIDS afterward.

Teaching new stuff Teaching the numerical analysis stuff is time consuming. But…I am learning interesting things that I wouldn’t ordinarily be exposed to.

For example: suppose you wanted to choose x_0, x_1, x_2,...x_{k-1} within the interval [-1,1] so as to minimize the maximum magnitude of the product (x-x_0)(x-x_1)...(x-x_{k-1}) ?? The answer isn’t that obvious, is it? If you are wondering why we’d want to do that, this product forms the “negotiable” part of the error term of the Lagrange polynomial. Minimization of the error term leads to the maximum accuracy of the interpolation.

September 2, 2014 Posted by | injury, walking, weight training | , | Leave a comment

Heel Pain: right foot, this time

I developed some heel pain in my right foot (it was in my left food in March, 2013). It seemed to come on…after running on the indoor track. That might be a message to me.

So, it will be heel pads and treadmills; it isn’t PF as my natural instinct is to come up on my toe to keep the heel off of the ground. Also: heavier shoes for my long walk; maybe do it on dirt (Rock Island trail)

Today: 5.1 hilly run (no pain during the run) on my Cornstalk course, followed by a quick weight workout:

pull ups (5 sets of 10: strong)
hip hikes, Achilles
bench: 10 x 135, 3 x 180, 9 x 160 (rotator cuff)
incline: 9 x 135 (weak)
military: 3 sets of 10 x 40 dumbbell (standing)
pull downs: 3 sets of (7 x 160 traditional, 7 x 100 low)

No rows today.

August 28, 2014 Posted by | injury, running, weight training | | Leave a comment

Lap swim: zoo

Well, one of the problems with the university pool is that lap swim can be a zoo; evidently some don’t know what “lap swim” means. There were some guys who ran into me because they were playing in the water; life guard did nothing.

The swim (after weights: 1000 free, 5 x (100 swim with fins, 100 swim w/o fins), 4 x 25 fly, 2 x 25 back, 2 x 25 side.
weights: pull ups: 5 sets of 10 (weak); hip hikes and Achilles rest
bench: 10 x 135, 3 x 180, 5 x 170, 9 x 160
incline: 10 x 135
military: couldn’t get the 50’s. did 10 x 40 (dumbbell, standing) 8 x 45, 8 x 45
pull downs: 3 x (7 x 160 traditional, 7 x 100 low)
rows (Hammer) 3 sets of 10 x 200
I also scattered some rotator cuff along the way.

August 25, 2014 Posted by | swimming, weight training | Leave a comment

What’s the difference here? (Dozer Park)

Workout notes:
Note: bodyweight was 177 after swimming.

weights: pull ups: 5 sets of 10 (hip hikes, Achilles)
bench: 10 x 135, 3 x 180, 5 x 170 (weak!) 9 x 160 (rotator cuff)
incline: 10 x 135 (rotator cuff)
military: couldn’t handle 50’s while sitting down: 2 sets of 10 x 40 (dumbbells, standing), 1 set of 7 x 45 standing.

bike: 3.1 miles (10:30)
swim: 1000 free
4 x (100 kick with fins, 150 free)
4 x (25 fly, 25 back).

Some international students decided to just “hit the pool” during lap swimming and had to be reminded that it was “lap swim”, not “open swim” to just do “whatever”. That is, in part, where xenophobia comes from; sometimes the newbies just don’t get the rules at first. And yes, Americans overseas are as guilty of that as anyone else.

So, the thing to do is to gently “educate with a smile”.

Comment: I saw a young woman running wearing shiny teal leggings. I wish that I was 35 years younger…well, not really. The problem is, to paraphrase the Main Ingredient, “there is no guarantee the one you love is going to love you…..everyone plays the fool”. I really think that romantic rejection stings the most.

And now: I have someone that I like. But if I didn’t, well, I think that I am far more willing to “love the one you’re with”, so to speak.

Really, there is always hope unless…well, there is a deal breaker:

(ok, I’ve even dated Republican women that I ended up liking…seriously! Not many though….)


Two different evenings at Dozer Park, where the Chiefs play (A baseball team). Guess which night was “dollar hotdog night?” I also noticed that the median weight of the attendees was higher on the “cheap hotdog” night. :-)

Oh the game: the first one, the visiting pitcher threw a 3 hit shut out; the Chiefs could not figure him out (pitches mostly in the high 70’s-low 80’s). The Chiefs shelled the pitcher in the next game though the pitcher was faster.



Of course, the stadium was much more crowded during the July games, before the public schools started.

August 21, 2014 Posted by | swimming, weight training | , , | Leave a comment

More energy than I thought…

I felt tired this morning; I felt the effects of yesterday’s 18 mile walk.

But things went fine for my workout:

pull ups: 15, 10, 10, 10, 5 (hip hike/Achilles rest)
bench: 10 x 135, 3 x 180, 10 x 160 (rotator cuff)
incline: 10 x 135
military: barbell, 10 x 85, 3 x 85, 10 x 80, dumbbell: 10 x 40 (standing; rotator cuff)
rows/pull down: 3 sets of 10 each with the other machines.
McKenzie exercises plus some up/down dog. the back is a little achy.

Swim: 2200 yards
1000 free (easy)
10 x 100 (alt 25 fist/25 free) on the 2:05 (1:55-57 each)
4 x (25 fly, 25 free) with fins.

Ok, off to the office to get ready; classes start a week from Wednesday.

August 18, 2014 Posted by | swimming, weight training | Leave a comment


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 656 other followers